Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…
Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.
Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.
It's been a while since my last post. Small part of that has been down to work but the rest is simply down to a lack of enthusiasm to read. Sometimes you go through periods where reading suddenly feels like a chore and when that happens to me I prefer to step back and take a break.
Well, I'm glad to say that the itch is back and Balanced on the Blade's Edge was what brought it back.
The story follows two main characters. You have Colonel Ridge Zirkander, a hotshot pilot, who having overstepped his mark one too many times is sent to command a prison in the middle of nowhere. It's here that he meets Sardelle Terushan, a sorceress who has just woken up from 300 years of slumber. The story then divulges into their interactions and Sardelle trying to somehow figure a way to free her soul-blade that's buried under a mountain.
I initially thought the book was sci-fi but after the first few chapters I soon learnt it was a blend of sci-fi and fantasy. Normally, merging the two never works and can produce disastrous consequences but this book has actually succeeded where many have fallen.
The book really is beautifully presented and I wasn't even sure if it was self-published. Such was the attractive cover and the crisp, engrossing writing that you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a published book.
One of the main positives of this book was the characterisation. I really got a sense of Ridge and Sardelle personalities. Also the setting of the book captured my imagination. The book is set in a prison on a mountain side and in my mind I pictured snow dusted mountain peaks with a stone fortress set between them. I could easily close my eyes and picture myself there.
One minor negative I found was that I felt the romance between the two characters was a bit rushed and as a result their relationship felt a bit hollow.
If you're looking for a light read that merges both sci-fi and fantasy with a dash of romance then give this book a read.
Out of 10 Stars:
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